Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos left Earth Tuesday, July 20th, making him the second person to leave Earth in a self funded spaceship. The fully autonomous Spaceship, named “New Shepard” blasted 66.5 miles (351,210 feet) off the surface of Earth, traveling at a maximum speed of 2597mph. The trip lasted 10 minutes and 18 seconds.
The Blue Origin Astronaut Crew
His space crew consisted of (from left to right) Mark Bezos, Jeff Bezos, Oliver Daeman, and Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk. Oliver Daeman, 18, became the youngest astronaut (far left). Wally Funk, 82, became the oldest astronaut (far right).
How it Works
Blue Origin’s New Shepard is Liquid Oxygen and Hydrogen powered. After the launch, the capsule detaches from the booster, as Zero Gravity begins. The booster re-enters, and self lands. The astronauts get to experience Zero Gravity for approximately three minutes, as their capsule begins to descend. After re-entry, three parachutes open, allowing the capsule to drift back to Earth at 16mph. The capsule lands gently, in the West Texas desert.
While New Shepard is fully autonomous, needing no pilots, the capsule can hold up to six people. Air brakes deploy on the booster’s descent to reduce its speed by half. Landing gear from the booster deploys on touchdown.
Blue Origin’s first human flight begins as the Astronauts load into the Spaceship.
Unlike Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, there was no video feed in space. There was, however audio transmission, which can be heard during the launch video. The crew was able to unbuckle and experience zero gravity for around three minutes.
The Booster lands, before the crew’s capsule. Below, a clearer picture from a previous launch.
Landing // Post Flight
Watch the Entire Launch Here
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